CM . . .
. Volume XXI Number 7. . . .October 17, 2014
“If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it” could be Romanuk’s mantra when it comes to producing his annual version of Hocket Superstars. With the 2014-2015 edition, Romanuk, a sports broadcaster and author, maintains the annual’s familiar “sandwich” format. Again, the “meat” portion consists of 16 pairs of glossy pages, with the rectos resembling oversized hockey cards bearing an action, full colour photo of one of the volume’s superstars. The entries are arranged alphabetically from the Winnipeg Jets’ right winger/defenseman Dustin Byfuglien to Jonathan Toews, a center with the Chicago Blackhawks. A seventeenth star, Carey Price, goalie for the Montreal Canadiens, is featured on the book’s cover, with the two column text about him appearing on the cover’s verso. The major text for the other NHL stars, which appears on the page facing the player’s photo, usually speaks to happenings related to the player’s previous NHL season and includes quotes by or about the player, with one comment being highlighted and bolded. The Colorado Avalanche’s Nathan MacKinnon’s quote reads: “I feel as though I’m growing in every game. I’m realizing what I have to do to have good games at this level.” Of her brother, Phil Kessel, a right winger with the Toronto Maple Leafs, Amanda Kessel, herself a hockey star with U.S. Women’s National Team, is quoted as saying, “He’s my favorite player to watch, partly because he’s my brother, but also I think he’s just awesome. A lot of people think we look exactly alike out there.”
“Did You Know?” and “Hockey Memories” can be found at the bottom of the text page, with both providing brief snippets of information about the page’s focal player. For example, the “Did You Know?” about the San Jose Sharks’ left winger Patrick Marleau informs readers that “Patrick opened the 2012-2013 season with four multi-goal games in a row. It was only the 2nd time in NHL history that had happened. The first was in 1917-1918.” For the most part, the contents of the “Hockey Memories” continue to be somewhat bland and trite. The “memory” associated with the New York Islanders’ John Tavares is that “John can remember being three years old and learning to skate with his dad. He also remembers his mom driving him ‘everywhere, so I could play.’”
On the action photo page, Romanuk provides the player’s stats for the previous season as well as his draft ranking and first NHL team, date and place of birth, position, height and weight (Imperial and metric units) plus shooting/catching handedness.
Of the NHL’s 30 teams, 13 are represented in this edition of Hockey Superstars, with three teams, the Sharks, Blackhawks and Canadiens, each having two entries. Players who are wingers and centers constituted 12 of the entries while the remainder consisted of four defensemen and two goalies. (Students of math will note that 12 + 4 + 2=18, and I earlier said that Hockey Superstars only contained 17 players. The reason for the discrepancy is that Dustin Byfuglien was identified as both a winger and a defenseman and so was counted twice.) The book’s superstars are a mixture of established veterans and relative newcomers, with players like the San Jose Sharks’ Patrick Marleau, the Pittsburgh Penguins’ Sidney Crosby, and the Washington Capitals’ Alex Ovechkin falling into the former category, and players such as the San Jose Sharks’ Tomas Hertl and the Colorado Avalanche’s Nathan MacKinnon representing the latter.
The book’s sandwich “bread” is again made up of two sections of matte pages which largely provide information about the NHL teams or offer the book’s readers opportunities to record information as the season proceeds or to make predictions about individual players or team outcomes.
The reader participation “bread” portions certainly point to Hockey Superstars 2014-2015 as being an individual “home” purchase, but copies in public and school libraries should also circulate well.
Dave Jenkinson, CM’s editor, lives in Winnipeg, MB, the home of the NHL’s Winnipeg Jets.
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Copyright © the Manitoba Library Association. Reproduction for personal use is permitted only if this copyright notice is maintained. Any other reproduction is prohibited without permission.